USAO’ Minerva Awards highlight wide range of student achievement

President Feaver welcomes students and families during the 2022 Minerva Awards ceremony.
President Feaver welcomes students and families during the 2022 Minerva Awards ceremony.

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma recently honored students for their achievements and service during the Minerva Awards ceremony.

“These students show their exceptional dedication to the USAO mission both inside and outside of the classroom and that deserves the highest praise,” said Nancy Hughes, associate vice president for student success and human resources. “Named after Minerva, the ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and science and a symbol of this university, these awards recognize those students who are most steadfast in their commitment not only to their academic achievements, but also in their service as leaders within our campus community."

The Minerva Awards publicly recognize outstanding students at USAO. Students are honored for excellence in academics, leadership, community service, campus involvement, diversity and many other areas. In addition to individual awards, the ceremony recognizes honor society members and seniors graduating with honors.

The USAO Leadership Academy is a three-tiered program that enhances students’ leadership skills with various workshops, projects and networking opportunities. In addition to being a great resume builder, graduates from the program will have a plethora of leadership experiences that will help them excel through life after college.


Gold Leadership Academy

Shah’Ty Carolina

Joshua Edwards

Chelsea Fuston

Halli Humphrey

Aliyah Payne

Shawntavia Rogers

Leadership Awards honor outstanding students who have shown leadership qualities during their time at USAO. A Leadership Award recipient has demonstrated the willingness and ability to involve others and hold leadership roles on campus. 


Freshman Leadership Award

Mariah Carnagie

Trinity Albao-Cozad

Harry Cracknell

Hannah Dudleson

Gary Jackson

Yaiza Larrauri

MaKenna Locke

Emily Loughridge

Mary-Grace McNutt


Sophomore Leadership Award

Sidney Dewey

Chelsea Fuston

Michael Hixson

Halli Humphrey

Chandler Leamon-Webb

Isabellah Willoughby


Junior Leadership Award

Daniel Buster

Abigail Davis

Rachel Dennis

MacKenzie Freeman

Skyler Garneau

Kalep Glandon

Zoey Hughes

Maria Lara

Hope Marquardt

Alexandra Medcalf

Allison Murray

Kati Robbins


Senior Leadership Award

Savannah Ashford

Cassidy Bowles

Emily Cerny

Lacey Dutton

Fernando J. Gonzalez-Castillo

Francisco Hernandez-Esteban

Wendell Hixson

Mackenzie Holub

Madison Homer

Joel Lane

Audrey Liddiard

Arlette Meléndez

Crystal Munsey

Bret O’zee

Aliyah Payne

Aubrey Ruttman

Parker Stoddard

Cassidy Sturgeon

Alyssa Unsell

Sidney Wilson

Summer-Skye Wilson

Commitment to Diversity Award honors a USAO student who has exhibited awareness and appreciation for diversity and inclusion in their activities and performance in and outside the classroom setting.

Commitment to Diversity Award

Alyssa Unsell

Drover Pride Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the campus community, embodying the Drover spirit through participation and achievement.  

Drover Pride Award

Daniel Buster

Chelsea Fuston

George Austin Award for Campus Leadership is given to a Junior or Senior who has been on the forefront of campus life, including taking leadership roles in activities such as serving as an officer in student groups, organizing service projects, leading programs, and helping build the leadership skills of other students at USAO. 

George Austin Award for Campus Leadership

Madison Homer

Arlette Meléndez

The Gladys Anderson Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research is named for an OCW graduate who established herself as one of this country’s leading nutrition authorities.  While her most notable achievement in science may have been to isolate Vitamin E, she is better known at her alma mater as a global ambassador for the liberal arts. The Gladys Anderson Emerson Award honors a student who has best distinguished him/herself in the field of academic research as an undergraduate.

Gladys Emerson Award for Undergraduate Research

Breena Lijewski

Ethan Korn

Few Oklahomans have garnered as much attention around the world as Native American storyteller Te Ata, recognized for a lifetime of achievement in the Arts by governors, presidents, kings and her alma mater, the Oklahoma College for Women. The Te Ata Creative Expression award honors a USAO student who has best distinguished him/herself in the arts. This student must have produced substantial creative work in the area of music, art, drama, or creative writing. Preference is given to students who have publicly performed, exhibited, or published their work.

Te Ata Creative Expression Award

Samantha Barker

Joseph Flores

This award, funded by the Swineford family, is named for Derald Swineford, who was an integral part of the university’s art department across four decades and two name-changes.  The Swineford Art Award is the highest award bestowed on a junior or senior art major.

Derald Swineford Art Award

Joseph Flores


To see a photo album from the event, please visit:

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